The SWA has called for tougher sanctions on trade in fake Scotch in China

The SWA has called for tougher sanctions on trade in fake Scotch in China

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has said more must still be done in China to clamp down on fake Scotch after the UK government thanked officials for policing the illegal trade.

SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt, who has recently returned from China, said authorities have been highly cooperative in enforcing protective measures. However, he said: “Fake whisky remains an issue and we would like to see even more cooperation and stronger criminal sanctions.”

Yesterday (15 November), the UK's environment secretary, Owen Paterson, met with Chinese trading standards authorities during a trade trip to Guandong to discuss the crackdown.

“The support of the Chinese authorities in clamping down on illegal activity which cost UK companies millions of pounds is hugely important,” he said.

“I’m really pleased I’ve been able to strengthen relationships that will protect iconic brands like Scotch whisky and have been able to pass on the thanks of the Scotch Whisky Association to the Chinese authorities for their help.”

UK whisky exports to China grew from GBP54.8m (US$86.98m) to GBP66.1m between 2010 and 2011, according to UK government figures.

Last year, scientists in Scotland said they had developed a test for fake whisky that can be used 'in the field'.